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Butter Pecan Cookies

These old fashioned butter pecan cookies are loaded with butter, simply scrumptious, perfectly nutty and always a crowd pleaser.

stack of brown butter pecan cookies on a marble surface

All About Butter Pecan Cookies

September 21st is National Pecan Cookie Day. Did you miss it? No worries…you can make these buttery cookies today and keep the celebration going.

This is the best recipe for butter pecan cookies and once you make them I’m sure you’ll agree.

They come together quickly and will be a hit at your next cookie exchange or a wonderful addition to your Christmas cookie collection.

There is speculation about where the butter pecan cookie originated. Some say their origin is in Denmark, some say Sweden.

Others claim it was born in the United States and they are certainly popular, especially in the south.

Wherever its original roots hail from it is surely one of the most delicious cookies with its browned butter and nutty flavors.

You can whip up these cookies and fill up that cookie jar with butter pecan goodness in no time.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.
labeled picture of individual ingredients for butter pecan cookies recipe

Ingredients Needed

Butter – Use softened, unsalted butter in this butter pecan cookies recipe. If you only have salted butter then decrease your salt to ¼ teaspoon.

Brown sugar – I prefer light brown sugar for this recipe but you can use dark brown sugar instead.

White sugar – I use white granulated sugar.

Butter extract – This is the ingredient your cookies need and adds a ton of butter flavor! However, if you cannot find butter extract you can substitute melted butter.

Vanilla extract – I recommend using 100% pure extract.

Flour – This recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but if you prefer chewy cookies, bread flour is a good option.

Chopped Pecans – Since these are the star of the show make sure you find the highest quality toasted pecans.

Pantry staples – Large eggs, cornstarch, baking soda, salt.

Looking for more comfort food? Follow LTB on Pinterest!

How to Make This Butter Pecan Cookies Recipe

First: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Second: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and both sugars until fluffy. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer and set at medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes.

Third: Add eggs one at a time and combine until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and butter extract and mix until well combined.

Fourth: In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2 increments and mix until dough forms.

Fold pecans into the dough.

Fifth: Using a tablespoon cookie scoop form dough into balls. Place balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

At this point you could also place a pecan half on the tops of the cookies and gently pressing for a little more nuttiness.

Sixth: Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes or until the edges start to turn a golden brown. Remove from pan after a few minutes to cool on a wire rack.

cookies cooling on a wire rack

How long do they last?

Store butter pecan cookies at room temperature for 10-14 days in an airtight container or in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. Cookies can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6-8 months in a freezer container.

Can I make them ahead of time?

You can prepare the dough ahead of time and roll it into balls. Cookie dough balls can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or 3 months in the freezer. Bake as usual.

For best results, let the dough balls come to room temperature before baking.

plate of three cookies with toasted pecans spread around it

Why is it called butter pecan?

The name is pretty self explanatory. Butter pecans are pecans cooked in butter and a little bit of sweet vanilla extract too.

The end result is the nutty butter confection that is added to ice cream, cakes, and of course these cookies. 

What are the differences between butter pecan, butterscotch and pecan praline?

These are all different flavors that share similar ingredients. Butter pecan is more of a candied nut recipe with the flavors of pecan, butter and vanilla with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Butterscotch has butter and brown sugar but no nuts, and is cooked until the consistency is thick and creamy. Both are used in cookies, cakes and ice cream.

Pecan praline is like a cross between butter pecan and butterscotch. It is a candy that stands alone and can be crispy like peanut brittle or more fudge-like.

stack of butter pecan cookies with checkered napkin

What makes cookies chewy vs crispy?

There are many factors that determine if a cookie comes out chewy or crispy; sugar, butter, eggs and flour.

Brown sugar tends to yield a chewier, softer cookie, while white sugar results in a crispier cookie.

Whipping your butter at room temperature will incorporate the most air into your batter when creamed with the sugar. Melted butter will give you a more crispy cookie.

Egg yolks will add more fat and richness to give your cookies a chewy center. If you want a chewier cookie, you can omit the white of each egg and replace it with an additional yolk.

Flour can also make a difference in the texture of your butter pecan cookies. All-purpose flour is always a good choice, but bread flour will yield a chewier cookie.

purple banner with gold text

The Sweetest Season

Check out this annual celebration to all things cookies. Follow along as I join a multitude of other bloggers making cookies for a great cause and make this the sweetest season!

Join me and a bunch of other bloggers baking cookies for a great cause! Check out my No Bake Butterscotch Cookies and my White Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes this week for even more delicious reasons to donate and help cure childhood cancer!

Want to see all the other delicious cookie recipes? Click the link (Sweetest Season Cookie Recipes).

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is in a matching window with their friends at OXO, who will be matching every dollar raised through the end of 2022, up to $100,000.

Whatever money we raise will automatically double on our fundraising page

parchment lined baking sheet with cookies on top

Tips for No Leftovers

  • When using salted butter, only add ¼ teaspoon salt or sea salt.
  • Choose the best pecans you can find. To keep them fresh, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from spoiling, which can happen as pecans have a high-oil-content. 
  • To derive all the toasty flavor from the pecans, you can roast the nuts in a 350 degree oven for 3-5 minutes. Or, toast the pecans in a bit of brown butter in a skillet before chopping.
  • If your kitchen is warm, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before scooping – this will prevent the cookies from spreading.
  • No parchment paper? Lightly spray the cookie sheet with an oil spray.
  • You can experiment with other add-ins such as 1 cup of chocolate chips, toffee bits, white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

stack of butter pecan cookies with white banned and yellow text

When you are craving a freshly baked cookie, this is the one for you! For the complete butter pecan experience, I suggest pairing with a bowl of butter pecan ice cream. Or better yet, just make one big ol’ butter pecan ice cream sandwich. Bake a batch of these pecan butter cookies today and watch the happiness unfold. Satisfaction guaranteed.

overhead picture of stack of butter pecan cookies on a white plate

Butter Pecan Cookies

Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

These old fashioned butter pecan cookies are loaded with butter, simply scrumptious, perfectly nutty and always a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, unsalted and softened
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar,packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ teaspoon butter extract
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy; 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs in 2 increments and mix until smooth. Then add vanilla and butter extract; mix until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Mix together butter and flour mixtures by adding the flour mixture in 2 increments until dough forms.
  6. Fold pecans into the dough.
  7. Scoop dough into 1 tablespoon scoops. Place on a lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart
  8. Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes or until the edges start to turn a golden brown.
  9. Remove from pan to cool on a cooling rack.

Notes

  • When using salted butter, only add ¼ teaspoon salt or sea salt.
  • Choose the best pecans you can find. To keep them fresh, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from spoiling, which can happen as pecans have a high-oil-content. 
  • To derive all the toasty flavor from the pecans, you can roast the nuts in a 350 degree oven for 3-5 minutes. Or, toast the pecans in a bit of brown butter in a skillet before chopping.
  • If your kitchen is warm, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before scooping - this will prevent the cookies from spreading.
  • No parchment paper? Lightly spray the cookie sheet with an oil spray.
  • Store butter pecan cookies at room temperature for 10-14 days in an airtight container or in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. Cookies can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6-8 months in a freezer container.
  • You can prepare the dough ahead of time and roll it into balls. Cookie dough balls can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or 3 months in the freezer. Bake as usual. For best results, let the dough balls come to room temperature before baking.
  • You can experiment with other add-ins such as 1 cup of chocolate chips, toffee bits, white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips.

Recommended Products

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 61mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and we can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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Erin

Wednesday 14th of December 2022

Butter pecan ice cream is my absolute favorite, but I have never tried these flavors in a cookie, which is a MASSIVE oversight on my part! Clearly, I'm fixing this ASAP with these beauties.

I have a feeling my husband, kids and I will not be able to stop eating them once they're cool enough. YUM!

Thanks, again, for making this year's Sweetest Season the best yet, Jen!

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